Thursday, February 20, 2014

Church Police?

There aren't many things that cause me to boil over, but hypocrisy is probably at the top of the list. Full disclosure that I struggle with it myself so maybe that is why it bothers me so much. Former smokers are often are more anti smoking that those of us who never have smoked.

One thing I've never understood among fellow believers in Christ is why there are a few that think it is their gift or responsibility to monitor or "Police" pastors & other ministry leaders.  There are radio programs & websites devoted to "protect" the church from heretics (at least what they consider heretics).

Billy Graham has probably been the most scrutinized minister in my lifetime. Rick Warren has been the whipping boy of the last 20 years. Then it was Andy Stanley & Craig Groeschel-- both who are my favorite speakers outside of my own pastor. Now we have a new crop: Perry Noble & Steven Furtick. Full disclosure, I've heard both speak in person & like both of them.  I like anyone who is leading people to Christ. Do they have blind spots & weaknesses? I'm sure they do, but I have enough to work on with my own failings than to spend hours writing blogs & designing websites.

Recently I began reading some recent "news" reports about both Noble & Furtick. I was in Charlotte this week & have a friend who knows them both personally so I asked him what all this was about? He had a lot of wisdom and I realized that these reporters/bloggers have way too much time on their hands.

So what makes someone think they are God's Police Officer? When we planted a church 13 years ago, we never heard complaints from those outside the church. But we received plenty of scrutiny & criticism from church people who would never visit our church & were not our target audience. Stuart my associate & I affectionately referred to them as the "Church Police."

When I had my previous blog, there was one man who actually printed out everything I had ever said on the internet & was convinced I was a heretic. He never abided by Matthew 18:15 which clearly said the man should have met with me in person. Maybe I had some things that I needed to repent of. But to blast someone in public is not what Jesus taught.

Back to the criticism of these mega church pastors. Why haven't the reporters/theologians/bloggers confronted these pastors in person? They are sinning by not responding to a brother in Christ in a manner Jesus commanded!

The Apostle Paul taught in Philippians 1 that there were people who did preach out of wrong motives. I don't think any of the above pastors do! However, even if they did, Paul says no matter the motives as long as Christ is preached he rejoiced.  Why can't the "Church Police" do the same?

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